Reigning NASCAR Cup champion Ryan Blaney’s path to his maiden championship in 2023 was far from smooth sailing as he was involved in a couple of harrowing crashes. The collision in Daytona self-admittedly shook the #12 Team Penske.
A couple of months after taking a hard hit at Nashville Superspeedway, Blaney once again had a head-on collision with the barriers in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway.
Blaney was leading the pack to the green-white-checkered flag for the end of the second stage when Joe Gibbs Racing driver Ty Gibbs lost control after being pushed by teammate Christopher Bell. Gibbs swerved left and tapped Blaney’s #12 Penske Ford, sending him straight into the SAFER barriers.
Starring in the NASCAR: Full Speed Netflix docu-series, Blaney rewatched the crash with his fiancee Gianna Tulio in the third episode. The 30-year-old narrated what he went through in those frantic moments and how it took him a couple of minutes post-collision to get his bearings together.
“Before I knew it, I was hitting the fence. I saw the whiteness of the wall the very last second, and then I’m hitting it,” he said. “And then you take a while to catch your breath. It took me 2 or 3 minutes to get my bearings together.”
Tulio, who was anxiously waiting to hear Blaney’s voice over the radio, said that he was out of breath and a little shaken up.
“You could tell he didn’t really have his breath and he was a little shaken up,” she said.
Ryan Blaney was unscathed by the collision and expressed his gratitude for the safety features of the next-gen car and its predecessors. He said:
“I don’t think about the danger side of it. We constantly think of the safety side, of what we can do better to keep improving the safety of these race cars. Those safety innovations that we’ve had in the last 20 years had been phenomenal.”
Ryan Blaney explains how NASCAR’s Netflix docu-series worked out great for him
The NASCAR: Full Speed docu-series covers the 2023 Cup Series playoffs season, culminating in Ryan Blaney’s championship victory. The #12 Penske team seems to have found extra gear in the playoffs, as they shrugged off their mid-season slump to win two races and the title.
Blaney takes center stage in the first edition of the series. The 30-year-old said it worked out perfectly for him and joked that if the OTT giant had signed up five years earlier, he would have racked up multiple championships by now.
“It obviously worked out great for me, Netflix should have done this five years ago, maybe I would have won more championships,” Ryan Blaney joked on the Today Show. “It will be really grateful to look back on, like Bubba said it was really neat filming it all, giving them all the access to our personal lives and at the track too.”
The five-episode series premiered on Netflix on January 30 and was received well by the fans.